Amusement Patents (Class 104/53)
  • Patent number: 9744469
    Abstract: A tower ride is disclosed with suspended cars mounted on rails that that forms track that is a complete double helix path for the car without having to turn the car or switch tracks. The car is suspended from a four truss track, riding on the two bottom rails for stability. Another embodiment is a roller coaster track mounted on a tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Inventor: William J Kitchen
  • Patent number: 9643094
    Abstract: A flying simulator ride in accordance with present embodiments may include a suspended rotator ring capable of motion in six degrees of freedom. The flying simulator ride may also include a passenger support system suspended from the rotator ring wherein the passenger support system includes a first passenger support unit; and a second passenger support unit, wherein at least one of the first passenger support unit or the second passenger support unit are configured to move relative to one another to assume a stacked configuration and a loading configuration, wherein a distance between the rotator ring and the first passenger support unit is decreased in the stacked configuration relative to the loading configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Universal City Studios LLC
    Inventor: Nathanael G. White
  • Patent number: 9526997
    Abstract: A vehicle transportation room system and method are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system may include a ride vehicle disposed on a ride path and a launch room vehicle may be configured to align with the ride vehicle on the ride path and include an at least partial room. The launch room vehicle may be configured to house the ride vehicle in the at least partial room and to move with the ride vehicle and then break coordination with the ride vehicle such that the ride vehicle launches from the at least partial room. Further, the launch room vehicle may include a show element that is operated as the at least partial room moves with the ride vehicle to simulate that the show element is interacting with the ride vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: Universal City Studios LLC
    Inventor: Keith Michael McVeen
  • Patent number: 9486135
    Abstract: An amusement park ride having a car with seating options above a track, below the track or adjacent to the track such that a rider may experience different thrill levels depending on the position of the car in relation to the track. The car may have a swiveling arm to position the car above, lateral to, or below the track. Alternatively, ride may have multiple cars arranged above, lateral to, or below the track for the rider to choose which position to ride in. In lieu of or in addition to the car seating options, the may have adjustable shoulder restraints that allow the rider to use the shoulder restraints or not. The shoulder restraints may be flexible or rigid, but rotatable from an upright configuration to a sideways configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Inventor: Eric Fram
  • Patent number: 9038543
    Abstract: The amusement ride 1 comprises a track 2 and a vehicle 3 being moveable along the track 2 at a velocity v. Within the vehicle 3 a video camera 4 is installed. The video camera 4 takes a video film of the face of a passenger received within the vehicle 3 during a ride. A sender 5 transmits the data 6 to a facial expression recognition system 7. The result 10 of the process carried out by facial expression recognition system 7 may be downloaded from a server 11 by a client 13.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: MAURER SOEHNE GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventor: Joerg Beutler
  • Publication number: 20150135981
    Abstract: Play systems of the present disclosure comprise a children's ride-on vehicle and a companion track. The companion vehicle and track each include a guide surface that is complementary to the companion apparatus and configured to guide the vehicle along a path of travel defined by the track. The children's ride-on vehicle may be powered, steerable, and configured to operate on and off the track. When the children's ride-on vehicle is guided and/or steered along the path of travel, the complementary guide surfaces do not substantially impede progress of the vehicle. When the children's ride-on vehicle is guided and/or steered away from the path of travel, the complementary guide surfaces contact and/or frictionally engage to direct the vehicle along the path of travel and/or to slow progress of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventors: Kevin M. Gastle, David E. Grober, Kurt J. Huntsberger
  • Patent number: 9016210
    Abstract: A tower ride is disclosed with suspended cars mounted on rails that that forms track that is a complete double helix path for the car without having to turn the car or switch tracks. The car is suspended from a four truss track, riding on the two bottom rails for stability. Another embodiment is a roller coaster track mounted on a tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Inventor: William J Kitchen
  • Patent number: 8985027
    Abstract: A zip line or trolley system kit for propelling a person or an object using gravity along an extended cable line suspended between two trees or towers. The zip line system having a frame with one or more wheels, an adjustable length seat, a handle and a braking system for slowing the speed of descent of the zip line system. The trolley system having at least two wheels spaced apart at a suitable distance to increase ride smoothness and improve sliding of the zip line system along the extended cable. An actuator of the braking system allows for the rider to control of the speed of descent of the zip line system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Alien Flier LLC
    Inventor: Stephen Douglas Brown
  • Patent number: 8985028
    Abstract: A multiple cable zip line ride is provided. The ride includes a support structure with a cross beam mounted to the support structure for routing and mounting of a plurality of cables of the zip line ride. The cables are mounted to the cross beam such that multiple users can travel simultaneously in the same direction along the cables. The cross beam provides for the mounting of additional safety cables and tensioning devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Experience Based Learning, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven R. Gustafson
  • Publication number: 20150075404
    Abstract: A multi-track multi-vehicle coaster simulates a popular theme of a competition, struggle or conflict taken from history or fiction. The vehicles interact with each other and with the ride scenery in many different ways and vehicle velocity is altered at different points in the ride using multiple motors and brakes. An interactive queue is provided and allows people in the queue to interact with people on the ride. Energy recycling and computer ride control are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 25, 2014
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventor: Jonathan I. Gordon
  • Patent number: 8960097
    Abstract: A ride vehicle loading interface system to allow guests in wheelchairs to access a ride vehicle and enjoy a ride attraction. The loading interface system includes a plurality of associated ride vehicles moving on a track. At least one ride vehicle including a tray extendable from and retractable into the ride vehicle through an opening, the tray for receiving a wheelchair and for allowing the wheelchair to be positioned in the ride vehicle. The ride vehicle loading interface system including a loading platform moving at about the same rate as the ride vehicle during loading and unloading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Joel L. Fritsche
  • Patent number: 8943976
    Abstract: A ride system for giving passengers a flying roller coaster experience. The ride system includes a train of vehicles, with each of the vehicles including seat assemblies that each has a seat and seat back for receiving a passenger. The vehicles are supported by the track to roll along a length of the track, and the ride path is adapted for gravity-based movement of the train of vehicles in at least portions of the ride path. The track includes a vertical segment, and the ride system includes a station including a platform assembly with horizontal platforms vertically spaced-apart to provide multi-level loading. The train is positioned on the vertical segment with each of the vehicles proximate to an end of one of the horizontal platforms. The seat backs are substantially parallel to a longitudinal axis of the track to provide vertical loading and, then, vertical launching from the station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Nicholas J. Comorre
  • Patent number: 8943975
    Abstract: A roller coaster ride system comprising a first track section which is adapted to guide a passenger car and a second track section which extends in a first plane. The roller coaster ride system is characterized in that the second track section is attached to a platform which is moveably guided on a frame in a second plane that is inclined in relation to the first plane, in particular perpendicular thereto, and that the second track section can be coupled in a first position to the first track section in order to transfer a passenger car from the first track section to the second track section, and can be in a second position is spatially offset along the second plane relative to the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Zierer Karussell-und Spezialmaschinenbau GmbH
    Inventors: Roland Gmeinwieser, Walter Steininger, Rupert Koeckeis
  • Patent number: 8893623
    Abstract: A multi-track multi-vehicle coaster simulates a popular theme of a competition, struggle or conflict taken from history or fiction. The vehicles interact with each other and with the ride scenery in many different ways and vehicle velocity is altered at different points in the ride using multiple motors and brakes. An interactive queue is provided and allows people in the queue to interact with people on the ride. Energy recycling and computer ride control are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Inventor: Jonathan I. Gordon
  • Publication number: 20140326160
    Abstract: The present invention is an improved apparatus for wheeled vehicles. The use of spherical wheels allows the vehicle to be operated on slides that have steep elevation changes and quick turns and curves. Each spherical wheel is attached to the vehicle at a predetermined angle so that the longitudinal axis of the spherical wheel is perpendicular to where the spherical wheel contacts the surface. For a curved slide, the longitudinal axis of the spherical wheel is perpendicular to the tangent line. The spherical wheel vehicle allows amusement park operators to have a dual use slide, allowing it to be a water slide in the summer months and be a dry slide through use of the spherical wheel vehicle in colder months.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2013
    Publication date: November 6, 2014
    Applicant: ZDT'S AMUSEMENT PARK, LTD.
    Inventor: DANIEL DONHAUSER
  • Publication number: 20140261051
    Abstract: An amusement ride with two support towers with a suspended set of cables forming a track that supports a ride truck is disclosed. Riders are suspended beneath the ride truck in a rider support mechanism. The ride truck is driven along the track between the towers, causing the rider support mechanism to be propelled along under the ride truck. The ride truck slows and reverses on the track when it reaches the other tower. The forward momentum of the rider support mechanism causes it to swing out beyond the tower, before it is pulled back toward the other tower by the ride truck.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: William J. Kitchen
  • Publication number: 20140174314
    Abstract: A coaster having a rotatable track area capable of rotating, for example, 180° and repositioning a car for further movement along another track different than the one from which it originated. The rotatable track area can have a cross section of any polygonal shape. A corresponding rotation system with computer controls can selectively rotate the rotatable track area in predetermined increments according to the coaster track end positions so as to selectively align the rotatable tracks with the coaster tracks.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2014
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Applicant: BECHER-SCHMIDT USA
    Inventor: Jordan M. SCHMIDT
  • Publication number: 20140096699
    Abstract: A suspended track amusement ride is disclosed. A cylindrical rail is suspended from catenary curved tensioned support cables by vertical attachment cables, creating a single rail track that can be suspended over large distances.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Publication date: April 10, 2014
    Inventor: William J. Kitchen
  • Publication number: 20140020591
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an amusement park ride track utilizing stock, planar materials, namely comprising of creating elongated, curved structures from planar materials. A roller coaster track capable of being fabricated from multiple planar pieces without heating or bending. Other embodiments are described which utilize elongated, curved structures such as ski lifts, people movers, staircases and architectural structures. A jig is disclosed for providing for ease of manufacture of the elongated, curved structures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2013
    Publication date: January 23, 2014
    Applicant: Rocky Mountain Coasters, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan Schilke, Fred Grubb, Dody Bachtar
  • Patent number: 8590455
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an amusement park ride track utilizing stock, planar materials, namely comprising of creating elongated, curved structures from planar materials. A roller coaster track capable of being fabricated from multiple planar pieces without heating or bending. Other embodiments are described which utilize elongated, curved structures such as ski lifts, people movers, staircases and architectural structures. A jig is disclosed for providing for ease of manufacture of the elongated, curved structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Rocky Mountain Coasters, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan Schilke, Fred Grubb, Dody Bachtar
  • Patent number: 8490549
    Abstract: A tower ride is disclosed with suspended cars mounted on rails that forms track that is a complete double helix path for the car without having to turn the car or switch tracks. The car is suspended from a four truss track, riding on the two bottom rails for stability. Another embodiment is a roller coaster track mounted on a tower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Inventor: William J. Kitchen
  • Patent number: 8485104
    Abstract: A ride system with crossing ride paths. A first assembly is provided that includes a first set of vehicles movable along a first ride path, and the first vehicle set is vertically supported above the track at a first height. A second assembly is provided with a second set of vehicles movable along a second ride path that differs from the first ride path and crosses over the first ride path when viewed in plan view. The second vehicle set is vertically supported below the upper vehicle track at a second height, which may be the same as the first height such that passengers perceive a collision risk at path intersections. The upper track is at a higher elevation than the lower track such that track crossovers occur without interference. A synchronization mechanism synchronizes movement of the upper and lower sets of vehicles to avoid collisions at crossover points.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Nemeth, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 8479657
    Abstract: In order to facilitate entering or exiting in a cable railway system, at least one part of the floor of the passenger region adjoining the passenger gondolas is formed by a transport device, which is configured to transport the passengers located thereon in the direction of movement of the passenger gondolas. The transport device can be formed by one or more conveyor belts, which follow the path of the passenger gondolas for a distance such that the passenger can comfortably change over from the transport device to the gondolas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Innova Patent GmbH
    Inventor: Kurt Switzeny
  • Publication number: 20130167748
    Abstract: The invention relates to a riding board (1) that has a control stick (18) by means of which a person riding on the riding board (1) can slow down the riding board (1). In order to increase the riding entertainment, the responsiveness can also be tested with the control stick (18). Therefore, multiple signaling flags can be arranged on a track, said flags requiring a very specific action from the rider of the riding board (1). For example, the rider can be required to move the control stick to the left or to the right or to press a button that is attached to the control stick in a specific section of the track. If the person does not carry out the required actions, said person obtains penalty times that are added to the actual riding time the person needs to complete the track. Thus, riding does not just require that a person complete the track as quickly as possible but also great responsiveness and skill.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Publication date: July 4, 2013
    Applicant: IDEA TV GESELLSCHAFT FUR KOMMUNIKATIVE UNTEMEHMENS
    Inventor: Bruno Wilbert
  • Patent number: 8453579
    Abstract: A boat capture assembly that enhances control over boats moved by a track assembly through a body of water. The capture assembly includes a mounting plate attached to a positionable portion of the track assembly (such as to a bogie). The capture assembly includes a rigid extension arm with a first end attached to the mounting plate and a pivot structure, defining a pivot surface, rigidly attached to a second end of the rigid extension arm. The capture assembly includes a receiver cavity provided in a bottom surface of a hull of a boat. The receiver cavity includes a sidewall or body with an opening receiving the pivot structure, with the sidewall defining a well or recessed surface with a cross sectional shape and size to receive and allow vertical movement of the pivot structure but to restrain fore and aft movement of the hull relative to the pivot structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Edward A. Nemeth
  • Patent number: 8453576
    Abstract: A roller coaster amusement device adapted to provide for the passengers a ride wherein the passengers experience at least a portion of the ride in a racing position, the amusement device wherein an endless guide structure at least including multiple curves, one or more carriages displaceable along the guide structure, a passenger assembly associated with a carriage, said passenger assembly being adapted to accommodate at least one passenger such that said passenger experiences at least a portion of the ride in a racing position, a station along said guide structure allowing the passenger to board the passenger assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Vekoma Rides Engineering B.V.
    Inventors: Joop Roodenburg, Petrus Joseph Hubertus Clerx
  • Patent number: 8453578
    Abstract: A coaster according to the invention includes a track (10) and a vehicle (20). The track (10) includes a first support rail (11) and a second support rail (12). The first support rail (11) and the second support rail (12) are disposed vertically below the passenger receiver of the vehicle (20). Each of the bogies (23) and (24) includes a plurality of first rollers (25) and second rollers (26), wherein the second rollers (26) contact the second support rail (12) and prevent a lateral tilting of the vehicle relative to the plane (E) defined by the first support rail (11) and the second support rail (12). The first support element (11) and the second support element (12) are configured tubular.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventor: Jörg Beutler
  • Patent number: 8453577
    Abstract: A roller coaster maintenance vehicle includes a platform with a set of wheels arranged to ride on a roller coaster track structure. The platform includes a propulsion system which allows it to traverse the track structure independent of the roller coaster propulsion system. In one embodiment, a person rides on the vehicle and controls its movement. In another embodiment the vehicle is remotely controlled. Remotely controlled vehicles preferably include one or more inspection apparatus for inspecting the track structure. Optionally, the remotely controlled vehicles also include remotely controlled repair/maintenance equipment such as a robotic arm with a power tool coupled to its free end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventor: Jonathan I. Gordon
  • Publication number: 20130118370
    Abstract: A ride system with crossing ride paths. A first assembly is provided that includes a first set of vehicles movable along a first ride path, and the first vehicle set is vertically supported above the track at a first height. A second assembly is provided with a second set of vehicles movable along a second ride path that differs from the first ride path and crosses over the first ride path when viewed in plan view. The second vehicle set is vertically supported below the upper vehicle track at a second height, which may be the same as the first height such that passengers perceive a collision risk at path intersections. The upper track is at a higher elevation than the lower track such that track crossovers occur without interference. A synchronization mechanism synchronizes movement of the upper and lower sets of vehicles to avoid collisions at crossover points.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2013
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventors: Edward A. Nemeth, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 8428781
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are systems and methods for controlling robotic apparatus having several movable elements or segments coupled by joints. At least one of the movable elements can include one or more mobile bases, while the others can form one or more manipulators. One of the movable elements can be treated as an end effector for which a certain motion is desired. The end effector may include a tool, for example, or represent a robotic hand (or a point thereon), or one or more of the one or more mobile bases. In accordance with the systems and methods disclosed herein, movement of the manipulator and the mobile base can be controlled and coordinated to effect a desired motion for the end effector. In many cases, the motion can include simultaneously moving the manipulator and the mobile base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Energid Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chu-Yin Chang, James English, Neil Tardella, James Bacon
  • Publication number: 20130087066
    Abstract: An intersecting path ride providing close vehicle interaction without risk of collision. The ride includes a track assembly defining first and second linear, open channels bisecting at a vehicle path intersection point. The ride includes first and second vehicle guides movable within the channels. The ride includes first and second vehicle subassemblies supported by the guides, and the vehicle subassemblies move or reciprocate with the guides along linear paths defined by the channels. The ride includes a vehicle positioning assembly that concurrently reciprocates the guides back and forth along the linear channels through the intersection point. The vehicle positioning assembly includes a connection link pivotally coupled to the guides, a drive motor with an output shaft, and a crank arm rigidly coupled to the output shaft at one end and pivotally coupled to the connection link at another end moving the midpoint of the link through a circular drive path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2012
    Publication date: April 11, 2013
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventor: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
  • Patent number: 8393275
    Abstract: A roller coaster or amusement ride providing a unique free-floating sensation by extending the passenger vehicles out on either side of the central frame structure. The passenger vehicles (48, 50) are supported between two cushioned cantilevered vehicle support arms {34, 36) that pivot while being supported between air bags (30, 32} or springs. The air pressure in the air bags or the tension in the springs can be adjusted to provide a soft, free-floating sensation to the ride. Additional passenger vehicle motions are achieved by the omni-directional ball-swivel joints (38, 40) on the ends of the support arms. The off-center location of the passenger vehicles (48, 50) and the weight of the passengers enable the passenger vehicles to remain in the up right position even when the central frame structure rotates around the track system. No additional drive systems or passenger controls are required on this unique roller coaster ride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: S & S Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Jacobi, Stanley J. Checketts
  • Patent number: 8382005
    Abstract: A rideable toy that includes a base that includes a quartet of wheels and a battery-powered motor. The base also has a control pad attached to the motor and a pair of speakers that can be controlled through the control pad. The rideable toy is used in conjunction with a track that is fabricated from a number of track segments that can be interconnected with one another in a wide variety of configurations. Each track segment has placement holes that allow a stop block to be inserted, providing some limitation and perhaps safety considerations to the use of the rideable toy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Inventor: Brandon A. Fletcher
  • Patent number: 8375863
    Abstract: An amusement ride includes at least one passenger carrier, an amusement ride guide structure and a launch system adapted to accelerate the at least one passenger carrier from a starting position. The launch system includes a launch guide structure having a curvature, a launch arm rotatable about a rotation axis, an engagement device for providing a temporary connection between the launch arm and the at least one passenger carrier during the launch, and a launch drive providing the launch arm with an angular velocity. In the launch system, the radial distance between the engagement device and the launch arm support is variable such that portions of the launch guide structure have a deviating radius, or the distance in axial direction between the engagement device and the launch arm support is variable such that portions of the launch guide structure have curvatures perpendicular to the surface of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Vekoma Rides Engineering B.V.
    Inventors: Joop Roodenburg, Petrus Joseph Hubertus Clerx
  • Patent number: 8375864
    Abstract: A floating omnimover ride with high capacity throughput and enhanced control over speeds of passenger boats. The ride includes a water containment structure with spaced apart sidewalls defining an elongated guide channel that defines a loop-shaped ride path or circuit. The ride includes a volume of liquid contained in the guide channel to a desired depth. The ride also includes a chain of passenger boats floating in the liquid contained in the guide channel. Each of the boats is linked to the two adjacent boats with a connecting link such that the chain of boats is a continuous loop. The chain of boats has a length that is approximately equal to a length of the ride path, and during operation of the ride, the boats in the chain are moved along the loop-shaped ride path at a predefined rate by a pump station moving the liquid in the guide channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: David W. Crawford, Edward A. Nemeth
  • Patent number: 8371227
    Abstract: A ride system with crossing ride paths. A first omnimover assembly is provided that includes a continuous vehicle chain movable along a first ride path and includes vehicles vertically supported above the track at a first height. A second omnimover assembly is provided with a continuous vehicle chain movable along a second ride path that differs from the first ride path and crosses over the first ride path when viewed in plan view. The second omnimover assembly includes vehicles vertically supported below the upper vehicle track at a second height, which may be the same as the first height such that passengers perceive a risk of a collision at the path intersections. The upper track is at a higher elevation than the lower track such that cross overs occur without interference. A synchronization mechanism is provided that synchronizes the movement of the upper and lower vehicle chains.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Nemeth, David W. Crawford
  • Publication number: 20130025492
    Abstract: A roller coaster with seats articulated between vertical and reclined positions. The roller coaster includes a track with a load/unload portion and a ride portion. The coaster includes a vehicle with a body supported on the track and a passenger seat positioned in the body mounted for articulation between a first position and a second position. The roller coaster includes a seat positioning mechanism coupled to the passenger seat operating while the vehicle is in the load/unload portion to articulate the seat into the first position and operating, prior to the vehicle traveling into the ride portion of the ride path, to articulate the seat into the second position. The passenger seat includes a seat back that is substantially vertical in the first position and is at an obtuse angle in the second position or horizontal position, such that a passenger has an upward point of view during the ride.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2011
    Publication date: January 31, 2013
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventors: DAVID W. CRAWFORD, THOMAS FITZGERALD, DEREK HOWARD, DAVID A. DURHAM, JAMES H. SHULL
  • Patent number: 8360893
    Abstract: A ride system provides guest compartment(s) with a roll degree of freedom through a pivoting connection. The guest compartment is attached to a track via a chassis, the chassis being attached to the track such that the guest compartment rides substantially above the track but has a roll degree of freedom relative to the chassis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Derek Howard
  • Publication number: 20130019771
    Abstract: The invention relates to a roller coaster ride element comprising a first track section which is adapted to guide a passenger car and a second track section which extends in a first plane. The invention is characterised in that the second track section is attached to a platform which is moveably guided on a frame in a second plane that is inclined in relation to the first plane, in particular perpendicular thereto, and that the second track section can be coupled in a first position to the first track section in order to transfer a passenger car from the first track section to the second track section, and in a second position is spatially offset along the second plane relative to the first position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Publication date: January 24, 2013
    Inventors: Roland Gmeinwieser, Walter Steininger, Rupert Koeckeis
  • Publication number: 20130014669
    Abstract: A ride system with crossing ride paths. A first omnimover assembly is provided that includes a continuous vehicle chain movable along a first ride path and includes vehicles vertically supported above the track at a first height. A second omnimover assembly is provided with a continuous vehicle chain movable along a second ride path that differs from the first ride path and crosses over the first ride path when viewed in plan view. The second omnimover assembly includes vehicles vertically supported below the upper vehicle track at a second height, which may be the same as the first height such that passengers perceive a risk of a collision at the path intersections. The upper track is at a higher elevation than the lower track such that cross overs occur without interference. A synchronization mechanism is provided that synchronizes the movement of the upper and lower vehicle chains.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2011
    Publication date: January 17, 2013
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventors: EDWARD A. NEMETH, DAVID W. CRAWFORD
  • Patent number: 8347556
    Abstract: A spectator venue having a performance area and spectator area is disclosed. The spectator area is generally divided into to portions, a stationary seating area and a dynamic seating area, both of which overlook the performance area. In the performance area, a spectator event occurs, such as a sports game or music concert. In the dynamic seating area, a plurality of seats are provided on a series of dynamic seating platforms. The dynamic seating platforms move along a track to various viewing locations during the course of the spectator event to provide multiple vantage points of the performance area from each seat. The distance and timing of movement of the dynamic seating platforms is based on various criteria, including occurrences during the spectator event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Inventors: Thomas R. Stelmaszek, Shin Takeda
  • Patent number: 8336463
    Abstract: A zipline trolley system comprises a cable, trolley, launcher, and a catch block. The launcher is fixed on the cable and comprises a substantially cylindrical inner body with a rigid outer body adapted to rotate about the inner body. A return spring attaches the inner body with the outer body. The catch block is also fixed on the cable and comprises a block with left and right retaining arms pivotably connected to the block and adapted to clasp onto the front plate of the frame of the trolley.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Skyline Zipline Global, LLC
    Inventor: Kevin G. Smith
  • Patent number: 8327770
    Abstract: A trolley for transporting the rider supported by a harness on a cable or rope, the trolley having a mounting plate configured with a connection point to receive the rider's harness, a pulley rotatably mounted to the mounting plate to support the plate on the cable or rope, and a friction shoe mounted on the plate forward of the pulley to contact the upper portion of the cable or rope, wherein the connection point is located beneath the cable or rope between the centers of the pulley and the friction shoe. The apparatus may also provide a manually operated brake handle to allow the rider to selectively apply braking force to reduce the speed of the trolley on the cable as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Inventors: Daniel Blair Boren, Brett J. Epstein, Jason B. Hickman, David J. W. Lovinger, Gary P. Prus, James R. Wilson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8328651
    Abstract: A ride system provides guest compartment(s) with a roll degree of freedom through a pivoting connection. The guest compartment is attached to a track via a chassis, the chassis being attached to the track such that the guest compartment rides substantially above the track but has a roll degree of freedom relative to the chassis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Derek Howard
  • Patent number: 8327769
    Abstract: A large bipedal walking robot that a human can directly board and ride and that may be used as an amusement park ride, and to an amusement park system using the same includes a large bipedal walking robot capable of being boarded and ridden, a boarding vehicle to be coupled to the head or body of the robot, a safety cable and a safety rail that prevent the robot from falling, a safety vehicle that prevents the robot, but not the safety cable, from falling and makes the robot's bipedal walking steadier, connection means enabling the robot to be connected to a roller coaster (tram railway) in order to provide the effect of a flying robot, and a tunnel in which various villain robots are installed to provide an experience of the robot engaging in combat, and safety rails installed and connected in all areas where the robot moves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Inventor: In-Sang Kim
  • Publication number: 20120291657
    Abstract: A boat capture assembly that enhances control over boats moved by a track assembly through a body of water. The capture assembly includes a mounting plate attached to a positionable portion of the track assembly (such as to a bogie). The capture assembly includes a rigid extension arm with a first end attached to the mounting plate and a pivot structure, defining a pivot surface, rigidly attached to a second end of the rigid extension arm. The capture assembly includes a receiver cavity provided in a bottom surface of a hull of a boat. The receiver cavity includes a sidewall or body with an opening receiving the pivot structure, with the sidewall defining a well or recessed surface with a cross sectional shape and size to receive and allow vertical movement of the pivot structure but to restrain fore and aft movement of the hull relative to the pivot structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 20, 2011
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventor: EDWARD A. NEMETH
  • Publication number: 20120260815
    Abstract: The invention relates to a rail system (1) having two rail sections (12, 13) arranged parallel to each other. Each rail section (12, 13) has a rail (2, 3) which has expanded lateral edges (8, 9; 10, 11). According to the invention, a person can travel on said rail system (1) with a travel board (90) produced for said purpose. The travel board (90) has at least one wheel suspension device for each of the rail sections (12, 13).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2010
    Publication date: October 18, 2012
    Applicant: IDEA TV Gesellschaft fur kommunikative Untemehmensbetreuung mbH
    Inventor: Bruno Wilbert
  • Patent number: 8262071
    Abstract: A positioning assembly using a pair of rollers elastically connected to a holding base for clamping two cutters received in the holding base. The cutters in the holding base can be adjusted to make different blades contact and align precisely.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chien-Feng Huang
  • Patent number: 8241133
    Abstract: Systems, devices, apparatus and methods of using a simulator cabin module with an interior space which replicates a space ship, where the simulator module is mounted in a real aircraft, as a real airborne simulator. The aircraft lifts off to provide airborne maneuvers such as parabolic flight paths to cause G force and zero gravity effects to passengers in the cabin module. The cabin module includes rows of seats where passengers experience realistic sounds, lights, different temperatures, and physical effects (vibrations) of space ship liftoffs and space travel by having realistic simulation effects distributed over the seated passengers. Passengers can be seated in special reclinable seats with 5 point harnesses and pilot helmets with operable wireless communications and uniforms to add to the realistic simulation effects. Simulator modules can also be mounted in other moving vehicles, such as but not limited to submersibles, ships, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Communications Concepts, Inc.
    Inventors: James C. Lewis, Nick A. Mascia
  • Patent number: 8234980
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting a rider between two points on a cable or rope, having a plurality of supports configured to suspend the cable or rope between two points of unequal elevation and a trolley for transporting the rider supported by a harness on the cable or rope, the trolley having a mounting plate configured with a connection point to receive the rider's harness, a pulley rotatably mounted to the mounting plate to support the plate on the cable or rope, and a friction shoe mounted on the plate forward of the pulley to contact the upper portion of the cable or rope, wherein the connection point is located beneath the cable or rope between the centers of the pulley and the friction shoe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Adventure Holdings LLC
    Inventors: Daniel Blair Boren, Brett J. Epstein, Joel C. Haas, Jason B. Hickman, Gary P. Prus, David J. W. Lovinger, James R. Wilson, Jr.